For Immediate Release

October 2018

National Community Oncology Dispensing Association, Inc. (NCODA) Announces

Oncology Pharmacy Technician Association (OPTA) 

Cazenovia, NY – The National Community Oncology Dispensing Association, Inc. (NCODA) Executive Council is pleased to announce the establishment of the Oncology Pharmacy Technician Association (OPTA), the first professional association dedicated to supporting and encouraging the professional development of oncology pharmacy technicians.

Numerous technicians have already benefited from NCODA’s Pharmacy Technician Committee. The committee, which is comprised of close to 80 members, meets on a regular basis to discuss best practices, current issues, and many other topics within the field of oncology. OPTA, with the support of NCODA’s Executive Council will help set the standards for this important member of the medically integrated team [referring to all members of a patient’s care team involved in their treatment with oncolytic medications].

Current Pharmacy Technician Committee co-chair Carol Hemersbach, CPhT, from Arizona Oncology was appointed chair of the Oncology Pharmacy Technician Association. “Oncology pharmacy techs play an integral role in cancer care, and with the growth of oral chemotherapy agents, we need to empower and arm these technicians with the knowledge they need to provide quality care to cancer patients. The new OPTA will help us accomplish this,” Hemersbach said.

Oncology pharmacy technicians are valuable members of the medical integrated team,” said Michael Reff, Founder & Executive Director of NCODA, when asked about OPTA and the timing. “We feel that there is a need to help further the education, training, and networking opportunities available for these technicians. The medically integrated team will benefit tremendously from this new Association,” Reff proclaimed.

Our medically integrated pharmacy model could not run without our highly trained, dedicated oncology pharmacy technicians. Our pharmacists depend on the hard work they put in each and every day to help us deliver best in class clinical and distribution services to our patients. We are excited to support this new organization within NCODA,” says Ray Bailey, Pharmacy Director at Florida Cancer Specialists and NCODA Executive Council member.

Application for membership in OPTA will be available via the NCODA website ( starting November 5, 2018. For more information please email

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Directions in Oncology Pharmacy®

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan
New York, New York

Directions in Oncology Pharmacy® is a regional meeting hosted by Pharmacy Times Continuing Education™ positioned to offer education for clinical specialists, infusion staff, and specialty pharmacists. The mission of Directions in Oncology Pharmacy® is to provide practical, live education to pharmacists practicing in the oncology clinic, hospital, and specialty pharmacy settings.

Learn More HERE

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Authors: Anna Howard, Julia Kerr, Monica McLain, Jessie Modlin

Oral chemotherapy agents are being prescribed more frequently in many cancer types. In-office dispensing of oral chemotherapy agents has demonstrated clinical benefits and also shown financial benefit to third-party payers. A previous publication estimated over $200,000 in cost savings annually from in-office dispensing solely from medications returned to stock for credit. However, pharmacists in the in-office setting perform many other interventions that may affect financial outcomes. Read More.

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Oncology Nurse Navigators: Putting the Value in Value-Based Payment Models

Lani M. Alison, BSN, MS-HCQ, PCMH CCE

Oncology nurse navigators provide the “constant” in what seem to be undulating waves of changes to workflows, the adoption of new technology, the near-weekly onslaught of new drugs, and the need to ensure every nuance of documentation is entered in discrete fields in electronic health records so the practice meets reporting requirements. Read More.





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PAN New Infographic Spotlight: The Medicare Patient’s Journey—Finding Financial Assistance for Prescription Medications

When a patient is diagnosed with a serious, chronic or life-threatening illness, the costs of treatment can be daunting—especially for those living on fixed incomes. 

Our latest infographic illustrates the journey of Mary, a fictional Medicare patient who searches for financial assistance after a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. 

At age 70, Mary lives on a fixed annual income of $26,000 that goes toward necessities like rent, food and other prescriptions. She can’t afford her cancer medication: it has an out-of-pocket cost of $5,000 per year. Learn More.

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